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Old 06-04-2013, 09:52 PM   #1 
Inspiration Orange
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Location: Idaho
Stressed out Betta....I think

So, I'm thinking my betta might be stressed out, and I'm not sure what to do for him. Here's my info:

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78-80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? yes. it's a wheel-style filtration system. The water is sucked up, put through a rectangular filter, and then passes by a carbon water wheel on it's way out. The flow was originally a little strong so we modified it some to be only moderate/
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? he lives alone

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? petco betta pellets (I tried 5 different types and these are all he'll eat), occasional crumble of freeze dried brine shrimp (tried freeze dried bloodworms, but he refuses to eat those)
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat. I've also been using Ready Water which comes with a packet of good bacteria...we tried our tap water (private well) first, but it has a pH of 8.4 and he did poorly in it.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.2
Hardness: somewhat soft
Alkalinity: moderate (80)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
When we first brought him home 8-9 weeks ago, Neo was a bright turquoise with a darker turqouise edge on his tail, combo turquoise/white fins with some random turquoise spots, and a golden yellow head. About four weeks ago his fins started to lightn and near his body are almost an irridescent gold, his tail edge became darker, and his head started turning a splotchy gray. The only change since then, which has been in the last week or so, is that his chin and a little bit under his belly have become very light, almost white.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No change in behavior
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 5-6 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not since I've had him
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea, though I'm guessing not very old as his fins aren't extremely long.

Neo's appearance change and apparent tail-biting is what concerns me. I'm not sure if it's indicative of stress, illness, or just some kind of natural color change. Also, he has been a little bloated the last couple of days, but he poops at least once a day pretty regularly.

I've uploaded some photos of him along the way. L-R, T-B: Neo 1st home, Neo head graying/fins lightening, Neo today, Neo white chin/belly, Neo's aquarium (as it's been set up since we got him). Apologies that they aren't the best quality.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:36 PM   #2 
LittleBlueFishlets
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I can't really get a good look at him in the photos. But that tank is beautiful!

I wonder if he has a marbling gene. If so, he may just be changing colors, which is a normal process.

However, you mentioned that he appears a little bloated. Some bettas tend to become constipated and/or bloated when fed diets high in grains (wheat, corn, soybean, etc.) They often do better when fed foods that have higher amounts of protein. (I have two like this.)

The first few ingredients in Petco betta pellets are: Fish Concentrate, Potato Starch, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Flour, Soybean Oil.....

I would try switching his food to one that has a higher amount of protein. On this forum, the two most frequently recommended foods are New Life Spectrum (NLS) Betta pellets, and Omega One Betta Buffet pellets.

Petco carries both brands. Petsmart only carries Omega One. They both cost about $4 for a bottle that will last a long time.
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